In a bid to reposition the country’s jewelery and gemological industry, the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has revealed that it is set to convince the Ministry of Solid Minerals and the Gemological Institute of Nigeria “to jointly adopt the free trade zone model to customize the exploration, refining, production and marketing of a variety of expensive gemstones.

NEPZA Chief Executive Professor Adesoji Adesugba made the revelation, according to a press release issued by the Authority’s Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, as he welcomed Mr Tom Cushman, a gemologist and world famous businessman in Abuja.

Adesugba said the Authority has continued to engage in exploring the global business space with a view to attracting investors from all sectors of the economy, adding that steps have been taken to ensure engagement. key stakeholders to make this noble initiative a reality. .

“In light of this, the Authority will open discussions with the Ministry of Solid Minerals, the Gemological Institute of Nigeria and other industry experts to establish the right kind of partnership that can scale up the effective and efficient management of the sector through the training and certification of qualified gemologists.

“So allow me to express my deep joy at the visit of Mr. Tom Cushman, an American gemologist and businessman who is ready to help us in popularizing the Nigerian gemstone industry globally,” he said, according to the statement.

In his remarks, Cushman said the country is incredibly endowed with a variety of solid minerals, adding that NEPZA’s decision to lead this initiative will help attract huge investment into the sector.

“Nigeria needs to leverage my expertise in forming, identifying, grading and marketing jewellery/gemstones to drive the economy in a more sustainable way,” Cushman said.